Progress?

In April 2007, I had just moved to New Jersey, started a new job and was down 15-20lbs from my all-time high weight. Before moving, I had promised myself that I would not let the frenzy of movers, relocation, starting a new job and attending a conference just two weeks into said job disrupt my commitment to health and wellness and weight loss.

I’m happy to say I was successful. I continued to lose weight, despite the need for several meals out in the days prior to and immediately after moving and in the week I was at a conference.

Within a month of moving, I had started a gym membership and had my fitness assessment and start-up meeting with a trainer. I was evaluated on a scale of needs work (because they are too kind to kill someone’s motivation with a failure rating) to excellent. The following were my results:

  • Blood pressure: 133/84 (Fit)
  • Body Fat %: 38.3 (definitely needs work)
  • Tricep Skinfold: 44.3mm
  • Suprailium Skinfold: 29.1mm
  • Thigh Skinfold: 41.9mm

Out of curiousity, and upon the recommendation of my sister, I asked the gym if they did follow-ups. Not only do they do them, but they’re free! So last night, 2 years and 11 months later, I was re-assessed and got the following results:

  • Blood pressure: 110/72 (Excellent)
  • Body Fat %: 37.8 (still “needs work”)
  • Tricep Skinfold: 35.9 mm (down ~9 mm)
  • Suprailium Skinfold: 29.3 mm (up 0.2mm)
  • Thigh Skinfold: 46.8 mm (up ~5 mm)

I’m sorry… did that drum roll turn into a rim shot? Yes, dear reader. I’ve lost an additional 35 pounds since then, yet I’ve only gone down a half a percent in my total body fat.

Possible reasons:

  1. My body really, truly is screwed up.
  2. Loose/excess skin. Not sure if this impacts results. The reality is I have it after losing more than 50lbs.
  3. I had a different person doing the caliper test. For consistency purposes, it’s best to have the same person do it each time. (The trainer who originally did my test no longer works there.)
  4. She screwed up. Truly, she did. I just don’t know how much it impacted results. When they do the caliper test, the calipers are connected to the computer. They do two to three readings and lock each one in. As she was about to lock in the second reading, the calipers snapped back, increasing the measurement. She did a third reading and the computer averaged the three, but still…

She couldn’t redo the test because someone else was waiting to use the room, so we went out to a table, discussed my goals and assessed my current plan and program.

I told her, my goals were to:

  • Train for a triathalon and specifically, work on my running endurance
  • Lose weight–ideally 1 (ONE! I’m not a greedy woman!) pound a week.
  • Increase core strength.

As a result, she recommended the following:

  • Make sure my cardio workouts last 45 minutes, 5 times a week. The intensity I’m doing (heart rate is 130-160 bpm) is good.
  • Increase ab work to 4 times a week. Currently, I do 1-2 times a week.
  • Increase my weights and continue to change up my reps and sets to keep my body challenged. Consistently do this THREE times a week (instead of the 2 I’ve been fitting in lately).
  • Consider letting a nutritionist evaluate and fine tune my diet again.

She also offered to give my contact info to the women who trained together to do the Philadelphia Women’s Sprint Triathalon last year. She doesn’t know if they’re doing it again, but said they’d be able to tell me more about it, answer any questions I have and give me tips.

So… overall. It really wasn’t the highlight of my week and was largely a disappointment but it is what it is. I felt better after a kick-ass workout of spin, a 15 minute abs class and a full body weight circuit.

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3 responses to “Progress?

  1. I like the “she screwed up” theory. It must have been disappointing not to see better numbers, but it sounds like you just had a bad assessor. Your 35 lb. weight loss since then is a huge accomplishment!

  2. I’m with the “she screwed up” theory. To only have lost 1% fat over 35 lbs, you’d have to weigh well over a ton or have lost an extraordinary amount of muscle (Which is doubtful given the amount you work out). I’d see about a retest 🙂

  3. Ask for a recount! You got robbed. Not possible to lose that much weight and not have a larger decrease in body fat. You have a stricter diet and workout regime then anyone I know. Hang in there:-)

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